Monday, December 8, 2008

Pantry Challenge - Week 1

Well, our first week of the Pantry Challenge went pretty well... I had stocked up on a few fresh things before the month started, so we started the week with plenty of milk, veggies, and cereal (the things we usually run out of weekly). For dinners we had baked potatoes stuffed with shredded chicken and broccoli, burritos, and pasta with ground turkey. Leftovers got us through the rest of the week.

I did have to run to the store towards the middle of the week for milk, deli meat and cheese and spent $23.86 (there were a few impulse items in there as well, milk's not quite that expensive yet). Our limit weekly is $25 based on family members.

I realize now that our biggest challenge is going to be lunches. We normally pack lunch for all three of us, but the things I normally put in lunches are things I tend to buy weekly and with our limits in place I may not be able to get what I need for lunches and the inevitable milk and fresh fruit/veg. I'll be updating our pantry staples list to include lunch and snack items towards the end of the month. This is a great time to rethink our food storage plans and identify any holes.

The Challenge for this week is to inventory our pantries and freezers. You can't use your stockpiles effectively if you don't know what's in them! I have a tendency to use the items at the top of my chest freezer sooner, simply because I can see them easily. There has to be a better way of organizing a freezer than that!

What are your best tips and tricks for making the most of your freezer space and not losing things in there?